Top six kick-off year in style and now eye January sales ahead of cup weekend

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Happy Blue Year. Jan 1st win for Linfield. Pic: LFC.

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Cliftonville remain three points clear of the chasing pack after the Danske Bank Premiership festive fixtures.

The Reds beat Glenavon 1-0 at Solitude on New Year's Day thanks to a goal from sub. Thomas Maguire.

It's their fourth win in a row over the holiday period.

Paddy McLaughlin's men stay ahead of Linfield, Coleraine and Glentoran as all the top six won against bottom six teams.

The Glens had a 2-0 victory at Dungannon to extend their unbeaten run to 13 games.

One more win and the rejuvenated east Belfast side would surpass their points total for the whole of last season. 

Manager Mick McDermott says every match in the league presents its own challenges.

In the other new year games, Linfield beat Institute 3-0 at Windsor Park, Larne were 3-2 winners away to Ballymena, Coleraine had a 2-0 victory in Carrick and bottom side Warrenpoint lost 4-0 at home to Crusaders.

It could prove to be a busy January transfer window as clubs aim to strengthen for what looks like a five-horse title race.

Blues boss David Healy says there could be new arrivals at Windsor - and some departures...



Next up is the Irish Cup fifth round on Saturday when Premiership clubs enter the competition.

Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup, Saturday January 4th - 

1.30pm -

Queen's University v Linfield

Banbridge Town v East Belfast

Knockbreda v Dergview

3pm - 

Glenavon v Coleraine
Glentoran v Portadown
Ards v Carrick Rangers
Ballinamallard United v Dollingstown
Ballyclare Comrades v H&W Welders
Ballymena United v Crumlin Star
Cliftonville v Hanover
Crusaders v Dundela
Institute v Dungannon Swifts
Larne v Belfast Celtic
Loughgall v Rathfriland Rangers
Newry City v Bangor
Warrenpoint Town v PSNI

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